I feel confident in saying I’m finally in training for my upcoming spring races. It’s been a hard fought battle and I never gave up, and here I am safely on the other side of injury. It’s always a walking on eggshells kind of a time period — between working actively on cross training and not aggravating the injury and then finally testing the waters and being confident the injury has healed. That was me two weeks ago. Last week I let go of the reins and, instead of focusing some time on cross training, ran comfortably all week.
Monday — Yoga + Run Smart analysis (2 miles)
Last Monday was super awesome. I had a great yoga session and felt nice and stretched out. Then I headed to the Cleveland Clinic for their renowned Run Smart evaluation. The therapist got the shortened version of my injury history and then gave me an exam. First I walked up and down the hallway. Then I stood in the middle of a mat and balanced on one foot while moving my other leg in a multitude of directions. After all that, I did some toe-ups and finally the run. I ran on the treadmill for about 10 minutes (including a walking warm-up and cool-down) while he recorded. We then went back to the room to review the tape. Boy, oh boy, do I have some areas that need improvement.
After we reviewed the video, I got back on the treadmill and ran with the metronome. While my original cadence was pretty solid (172), he had me run at 180. I gotta tell you — just adding those eight extra steps was tough! It was a huge mental challenge to get on rhythm with the metronome. Once I got it, though, I was locked in. It was the initial getting there that had me going batty.
As a coach, I know any change to cadence is tough. Even adding just eight steps in a minute is a huge challenge — both mentally and physically. Muscle memory can be one of the trickiest things to change, particularly when it comes to running form. The longer you’ve been running a certain way, the tougher it will be to change that.
I’ve long known that to be true. Putting it into practice with myself has been quite an interesting experience.
Tuesday — 3 miles + strength training
Tuesday was great. I ran with the metronome and felt physically and mentally challenged. I did attempt running without the metronome a few times but found when I restarted it that I had fallen back into my old cadence.
After my run I did my strength training routine. Overall it was a really great workout. A huge improvement to even just a week ago.
Wednesday — 3 miles + IT band rehab
Wednesday was very similar to Tuesday. I practiced, practiced, practiced with the metronome. I didn’t bother turning it off this time as I knew it would take some time to adjust.
I completed my IT band rehab routine. Those pistol squats are killer, guys. Try them if you aren’t already.
Thursday — 3 miles
Another metronome run, I started playing around with some music. I’ve long suggested drum and bass beats to keep the flow of around 180 steps per minute. And I’ve recently found this amazing new app, Spring, that automatically generates a playlist for you based on your musical interests and either your current cadence or your goal cadence. It’s pretty awesome. Check it out and see what you think!
It was a pretty fun run, overall. I never got into sync with my cadence but I’m fairly certain that’s because I was too busy playing with Spring. I’m still a work in progress.
Saturday — 1 mile + BeFit workout videos
Saturday was pretty fun. I was actually told not to run in my Altras during this time period — but I really wanted to so I did. (Don’t tell my PT… shhh… ) I only ran for a mile since I’m still in the “easing in” phase of minimalist running so it barely even counts, right?
After my run, my husband and I did a few BeFit workout videos. We had a ton of fun and the workouts were really challenging. I’ll tell you more about my progress in a couple weeks!
Sunday — 7 miles
Sunday was super fantastic! I met up with Noemi for some super chilly, tundra-esque miles very akin to what we were running through last winter. It’s incredible the amount of suck we put ourselves through during marathon training in 2015. But let’s face it — who’s gonna run 18 miles on a treadmill? Oh wait, scratch that. I saw a lot of my Instagram friends doing that over the weekend. Plus we suffered this weekend for a measly seven miles. Maybe we’re just gluttons for punishment.
But really, with proper layering and skin protection, an outdoor run in single digit (or even negative) temps is not that crazy. Totally doable. And a bit fun when you get the right buddies to enjoy them with. Noemi and I had this awesome text exchange the night before our run:
Just goes to show how much we treasure one another’s badassery.
We strapped on our Yaktrax and off we went. When we started my finger tips were admittedly really cold. I was having a lot of trouble warming them up, actually, and was starting to worry a bit. Just in the nick of time Noemi says, “do you want a hand warmer? They’re making my hands too hot.” It was almost serendipitous and of course I happily took the hand warmer and shoved it in my mitten. Almost immediately my fingers were toasty warm again. (Note to self: take your own [good] advice.)
We had a stellar run and it was really nice to catch up and spend time with my great friend on Valentine’s Day. I always look forward to our runs together! We completed 7 miles and then were very pleased to be back in our warm cars.
That’s my first official week of half marathon training in a nutshell. First up — Hoosier Half Marathon in April! And yes, I’m still planking. It’s such an easy add-on exercise and I can somehow always fit it in at the end of my day.
This week I’m focusing on building my mileage, as well as working on getting my cadence up to 180 without the use of the metronome. I think it’ll take a little more time but I’ll give it a whirl and see what happens.
Have a great week, y’all!
TALK TO ME!
Do you run with music?
Why or why not?
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